Bathed in the light of the full Hunter’s moon I can feel the enormity of my responsibilities to this land.  My grandmothers’ people have lived their lives on these prairies for hundreds of generations.  This soil has held their sweat, their tears, their blood and their bodies in the ultimate cycle of nurturing.  

My grandfathers came only four hundred years ago, a drop in the temporal pool of turtle island, one by one from the Scottish isles with barely more than their hope and their hearts.  And then they too shared their blood sweat and bodies, building a community and a future for our people.

The relatives that share this land with us have also done so for a millennia.  The plants, animals and birds that support us now are the descendants of the ones that supported my grandmothers and grandfathers.  Each sacrifice acknowledged with tobacco and eternal respect.  We have moved together in cycles of reciprocity, giving and taking when we needed, always aware of the delicate balance.

When I am called to welcome others to this place, it is with the deepest sense of responsibility that I do so.  Each footstep falls on the back of an ancestor, each promise impacts the lives of relatives. 

This land has not just nurtured my family, it holds them and it is them.  The paths we walk, the plants we sow, and the medicines that I am gifted, grow from the heart of my people and my relatives. 

Gratitude is all that remains.

Photo by Oxana Lyashenko on Unsplash